On Wednesday, April 22, at 8 p.m., New York University’s Creative Writing Program will host a reading and champagne reception to benefit the NYU/Goldwater Memorial Hospital Writing Project. The Project provides writing workshops for the residents of Goldwater, a 900-bed public New York City hospital for the severely physically disabled.
Distinguished writers Edna O’Brien (who was the first reader at the first celebration of the fledgling program more than twelve years ago), Sharon Olds (founding director of the Project and recently-named New York State Poet), Cornelius Eady, and Jean Valentine, along with the writers themselves from Goldwater, will present readings of the work of the Golden Writers (the hospital residents involved in the project). The benefit will take place at NYU’s Top of the Park, Loeb Student Center, 566 LaGuardia Place.
Tickets (which are tax deductible) are: $1,000, Angel; $275, Patron; $150, Benefactor; $75, Donor; $25, Student/General Public. All ticket holders are invited to a public reception following the event. Contributors of $275 or more are invited to a special champagne reception in honor of Edna O’Brien prior to the reading. Ticket orders and contributions can be sent to The Goldwater Project, NYU Creative Writing Program, 19 University Place, Room 200, New York, NY 10003; for further information call (212) 998-8816.
The Project, now in its thirteenth year, provides writing workshops for Goldwater Memorial Hospital residents who are non-moving and non-speaking but communicate by means of laser wand, mouth-stick, lap-card with words and letters, computer with chin activator, cardboard alphabet card for toe-spelling, and cardboard alphabet card for eye-signals. The teachers and tutors are M.F.A. and M.A. candidates in the NYU Graduate Creative Writing Program.
“It is an ordinary workshop ecstatic, spectacular, moving, surprising, humorous, ironic, radical,” says Sharon Olds. “But what is truly unusual at Goldwater is the emotional and spiritual wit and wisdom of the poems, memoirs, and stories written here.”
Current funding sources for the Project end this year, except for the Deborah Smith Bernstein Endowment fund, which includes individual contributions as well as funding from the William Bingham Foundation. Stipends to the student teachers and tutors are minimal.